Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Who is Going to Do Something About Cyberbullying?

October 3, 2013


Cyberbullying continues to grow, even considering the increased public awareness of the problem. This is simply not good enough.

For too long schools have been avoiding the issue, claiming that what is done outside of their gates is not within their domain – Wrong!

Parents have all too often decided to ignore whether or not their children are of age to use social media and whether they are using these sites responsibly – Wrong!

Bystanders, aware of Facebook hate sites have often decided to stay out of a potential conflict and have either opted to sit on their hands or worse, tacitly encourage the bullying – Wrong!

Facebook claim they are working overtime to ensure that cyberbullies are not rampant on their site – Wrong!

When are the stakeholders and custodians of this problem going to take their collective blindfolds off and start fixing this terrible form of bullying?

More than a million young people are subjected to ‘extreme cyberbullying’ every day, according to the largest ever survey into online abuse.

The report found young people are twice as likely to be bullied on Facebook than any other social network.

Experts say cyberbullying can have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on self-esteem and have called for parents and regulators to recognise the seriousness of the issue.

Liam Hackett, founder of national anti-bullying charity, Ditch The Label, which produced the report, said many people assume cyberbullying is not as hurtful as face-to-face abuse.

But he said it can be even more distressing because it is more public.

The survey of 10,000 13 to 22-year-olds found that levels of cyberbullying were much higher than previously reported.

It found that 70 per cent of youngsters had experienced cyberbullying and one in five said it had been ‘extreme’.

Of those surveyed, almost 40 per cent said they were bullied online frequently.

Mr Hackett said: ‘I think there’s a tendency for older people to think that cyberbullying is a lesser form of bullying because there is this idea you can delete a comment or you can block it and it’s gone.

‘But actually, we have seen that content becomes viral very quickly and when comments are put out on a public platform it can be more distressing for the victim because a lot of people are exposed to this content, so it’s incredibly harmful.’

Facebook, and Twitter were found to be the most likely sources of cyberbullying, and 54 per cent of Facebook users reported cyberbullying on the network, the survey said.

Click on the link to read Engaging in Gossiping Isn’t as Pleasurable as it Seems

Click on the link to read The Explosion of Online Bullying

Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

Click on the link to read The Use of Facebook in Cyberbullying Activity

Click on the link to read A Positive Approach to Tackling Cyberbullying


Parents Failing to Protect their Young Children from Porn

December 9, 2012


The internet has made the job of parents a great deal harder:

More than four in ten parents say that their children have been exposed to internet porn, an official survey reveals.

Almost a third say their sons or daughters have received sexually explicit emails or texts and a quarter say they have been bullied online or on their phones.

Many others have been exposed to websites promoting anorexia, self-harm and even suicide.

The frightening insight is contained in a round-up of responses to a Department for Education consultation on parental internet controls obtained by this paper.

Click on the link to read A Case of Parenting at It’s Worst

Click on the link to read The Most Popular Lies that Parents Tell their Children

Click on the link to read Dad’s Letter to 13-Year Old Son after Discovering he had been Downloading from Porn Sites

Click on the link to read A Parent that Means Well Doesn’t Always Do Well

Click on the link to read A Joke at the Expense of Your Own Child


Parents Shouldn’t Be in Denial Over This Very Real Addiction

November 28, 2012

As addictions go, internet addiction is relatively new. Since we all love to spend time surfing the net and we see it as a natural and normal form of relaxation many ignore what is becoming a very serious problem. Children are spending far too long in front of a screen, often skipping meals, becoming sleep deprived and sometimes even defecating in their pants in order to avoid missing precious minutes of a peer-to-peer game or social chat session.

ONE in five Aussie kids spend so much time surfing the internet that they miss out on meals and sleep, a study shows.

Edith Cowan University researchers have revealed that “excessive internet use” is twice as common in Australian children as British kids.

A fifth of the Australian children surveyed said they had “gone without eating or sleeping because of the internet”.

More than half confessed they waste so much time online that they “have spent less time than I should have” with family, friends or doing homework.

Sixty per cent said they had caught themselves surfing when they were “not really interested”.

And half “felt bothered” when they could not get online.

Internet obsession appears to peak at the age of 13 to 14, the study shows, as children start high school and use the internet more for homework and social networking with friends.

Click on the link to read Video Game Addiction is Real and Very Serious!

Click on the link to read Internet Addiction and our Children

Click on the link to read Issues Relating to Kids and Video Games

Click on the link to read Are you Addicted to the Internet?

Social Media: A Playground for Bullies

August 3, 2012


For all it’s benefits, social media is an invitation for bullies to wreak havoc:

The Internet can be a hostile place, and Twitter is no exception. According to a new study, about 15,000 bullying-related tweets are posted every day, meaning more than 100,000 nasty messages taint the digital world each week.

To further understand what happens in the virtual world, researchers from the University of Wisconsin in Madison trained a computer to analyze Twitter messages using an algorithm created to point out important words or symbols that may indicate bullying. In 2011, during the time of this study, 250 million public tweets were being sent daily — a number almost 10 times the population of the state of Texas.

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Bullying is Acceptable when it’s Directed to a Teacher

Click on the link to read Punish Bullies and Then Change Your Culture

Tips for Teaching Kids to use Technology Safely

July 31, 2012

Courtesy of The Washington Post are useful tips for helping to educate kids about safe use of technology:

1. Encourage parent leadership, within the PTA, PTO or other parent communities at your school to begin the discussion about safe and responsible online use by students at school and at home.  Gather an advisory group to determine how to get started.  Invite an expert guest speaker to kick things off.  Thankfully, there are many free, reputable resources available to parent communities through organizations such as Common Sense Media and through PTO Today’s Internet Safety Night program (sponsored by my organization, Trend Micro). Make it clear that it is an on-going dialogue versus a one-time event, as technology is constantly changing.

2. Communicate regularly to parent communities about how you are using technology in the classrooms, at each grade level, and how you ensure kids are learning to be savvy online citizens at the same time.  Make it part of open-house and parent-teacher nights.

3. Be clear with parents on how appropriate technology use is enforced through the school’s Code of Conduct and Acceptable Use Policies (AUP), which students (or parents) typically have to review and sign at the beginning of each school year.  Parents should understand what constitutes a transgression of the policy, how it will be handled, and how/if it will be reflected on your child’s school record.  It should also be clear how personal technology can or cannot be used on school grounds.

4. Be creative with ways to help parents and their kids use technology together.  Ultimately, schools and parents should not limit the discussion to being safe and responsible with technology. We want kids to also be successful users of it.  Find ways to use technology with families or encourage them to use it together through school-driven activities, events, fund-raisers, or other projects.  Have families research their genealogy together. Establish a blog contest or raise awareness or funds for a school activity using social media.  Or encourage family engagement in programs like the ‘What’s Your Story?’ campaign (sponsored by companies like Facebook, Trend Micro, Twitter, and Yahoo!) a program specifically designed to get youth, schools, and families talking about matters concerning the safe and responsible use of technology.

5. Recognize the positive use of technology in your schools through a formal or informal but public way.  Parents can be invited to be part of such a program, or at least encourage the right behavior with their kids at home.  Awards or acknowledgement can be given to individual students or groups of students, classrooms, or even families.  You can do this through a yearly or monthly “call out” in the school newsletter, website, or at a live school event.  If possible, showcase the activity that is being acknowledged (If it’s a blog, link to it in your online communications).

Technology can be intimidating to those of us who were introduced to it later in life.  The job of teaching kids how to use it appropriately can feel daunting when often times they seem better at it than we do.  But we cannot sidestep our obligation to make technology a tool our kids use safely and responsibly.

And while we do not have years of documented best practices to help schools and parents through this yet, anything you do today can help.  Thankfully, there are simple, low investment ways to start today.  It just takes a willingness to embrace what is already here, and a little courage to take the first step.

Click on the link to read 10 Best Websites for Teaching ICT

Click on the link to read New Tablet Being Designed Specifically for the Classroom

Click on the link to read Top 10 Educational i-Pad Apps

The Toy for Children Who Can’t Keep Their Hands off Your iPhone

July 9, 2012

It’s very hard for parents to find time with their iPhones and iPads because children have a habit of getting to them first.

It was only a matter of time before manufacturers invented a toy that will give your children yet another reason to run off with your phone:

Any parent knows that irrespective of what engaging and exciting toys you buy for your children, they will always be more interested in your mobile phone or tablet computer. It’s an inescapable fact of modern day parenting. With this in mind, toy firm Little Tikes has revealed a range of iPhone-friendly toys which can connect with your iOS devices.

The iTikes toys iOS devices toys include a keyboard, map, microscope and an art canvas, all of which can be used as stand-alone toys. But it’s when you add an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running a free iTikes app, that the fun really begins and the toys gain additional (and considerably more high-tech) functionality.

I’m still waiting for the iCanMakeMyBed, iWillShareMyToys and the future bestseller iWillDoMyHomeworkWithoutComplaint.

Facebook’s Age Restictions are a Joke

July 1, 2012

Facebook are using their own lack 0f vigilance as an excuse to relax very important age restrictions. Instead of giving up on protecting minors, Facebook should try harder to stop under ages kids from accessing their own Facebook page:

Facebook is still mulling over whether to open its doors to those aged under 13, but in Malaysia, nearly 250,000 children, some as young as seven, have already signed up on the world’s biggest social network.

The young Internet users, like millions worldwide, have managed to avoid the age-restriction ruling by lying about their age, sometimes with the help of their parents.

Protecting Your Kids on the Internet

June 13, 2012

Seven very helpful tips on protecting your children online courtesy of expert Dr. Leigh Baker:

1.  Spend time with your child on the computer. Put the computer in a place that can be easily accessed by the entire family. Use the Internet with your child to play games, plan for a family vacation, or learn about new places and people. Ask your child to teach you more about the computer and to show you certain tricks he or she may have learned. Not only will you gain computer knowledge, you will also get valuable information on just how savvy your child is on the computer. Make sure to ask your child what he or she likes on the Internet and to show you favorite sites.

2.  Let your child know that you will be periodically watching and monitoring his or her online activities. (Internet security software from companies like OnlineFamily.Norton often include parental controls that can help you encourage safe surfing.)

3.  Share an online pseudonym, password, and email account with your child. In this way, you can monitor online correspondences and the Internet sites that your child has accessed.

4.  Never, under any circumstances, allow your child to have face-to-face contact with someone they met online without your permission. If you agree to the meeting, accompany your child and arrange for it to take place in public.

5.  Don’t allow your child to go into private chat rooms without your permission and supervision.

6.  Monitor your credit card bill. Many pornographic online vendors require credit cards in order to have access to their sites.

7.  Alert your Internet provider if you or your child come across sexually obscene material.

I hope this proves helpful.

Children Outsmart Their Parents Online

April 14, 2012

They keep on telling us that this is the age of computer technology and that online skills are vital to success. Why then does our standardised tests not recognise this very theory. Standardised testing worldwide ignores the very skills our students are told they need to obtain.

Perhaps it is because our kids are fast outsmarting us when it comes to online activity:

MORE than half of Australian children are smarter than their parents when it comes to going online, enabling them to outwit adult restrictions.

Fifty nine per cent of children have ways of hiding what they’re doing online – and their parents know it, a survey by internet security specialist McAfee has found.

Of all age groups, children are the most adept at managing their “digital footprint”, or how they appear online.

“Children are far better at managing their profile controls and what their identity looks like to others,” Young and Well Co-operative Research Centre CEO Associate Professor Jane Burns said.

In a survey, one in four people said they had been left behind by their children’s online knowledge and one in three were worried they weren’t able to protect their children from web dangers.

Associate Professor Burns said that, rather than be embarrassed about asking for help, parents should embrace their children’s cyber smarts.

“There is a great capacity for them to be a teacher for you,” she said.

Building trust and rapport early was the key to being a parent in the online age: “Young people are far more technically savvy than their parents.

The reality is, even if parents think that they have control of what their children are doing online, they are pretty savvy and eventually the shift will occur. Children will tell them to back off.”

She said parents should treat internet conversations the same way they first taught their children to cross the road or play in the park.

“The first time you do this you make sure they’re with you and they’re holding your hand and you explain to them why it is important,” she said.

“If you’ve got the rapport it becomes a lot easier to ask your children to show you how they keep themselves safe – and they can teach you things as they get older.”

She said parents trying to start a conversation with their children should understand that they saw the web in completely different ways.

“Technology is now so embedded in children’s lives that they don’t differentiate between online and offline worlds,” she said.

“There is no distinction – you are creating relationships, full stop – and they can teach you things.”

“If you’ve got the rapport it becomes a lot easier to ask your children to show you how they keep themselves safe – and they can teach you things as they get older.”

“If you’ve got the rapport it becomes a lot easier to ask your children to show you how they keep themselves safe – and they can teach you things as they get older.”

Whilst this survey clearly presents a worrying case when it comes to cybersafety issues, it also goes to show that our young are very confident online. Why shouldn’t their skills be taken into account like all other skills currently contained in National standardised tests?

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